Tuesday, February 5, 2013

[Rant] Go Suck It Political Correctness

I miss the days when the world wasn't so politically correct. Movies were racist and sexist. But they were good. Nowadays everyone is so paranoid they might offend someone, they clam up and say nothing at all. Why do we have freedom of speech if we don't actually use it?  

There's been a bit of controversy over Volkswagen's super bowl ad. You know the one with the albino Jamaican? I personally found the commercial humorous. What I loved most about it was the inclusion of Minnesota--the land of ten tousand lakes, man.  In no way did I find the commercial offensive. Then again, I'm a pasty white girl from the Gopher State, but I don't think Jamaicans should take offense to it. 

One analyst said she was shocked they would even make the commercial and went so far as to bet they wouldn't air it. But they did! So nyeh! She said it was racist in part because it's saying all black people are happy. That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. For one, it doesn't include all black people. Just Jamaicans. And frankly, since they live on a beautiful island and smoke pot, I'm sure they're quite happy. (Of course, I know they don't all smoke hippie lettuce, but still.) She compared it even to blackface. Only with sound. I don't know much about the region, but I'm going to go out on a limb and assume there are also light-skinned people with Jamaican accents. 

I mean, the commercial didn't mention fried chicken or watermelon once. How can it be racist? 

(~_~;)

There's a double standard in this country that appalls me. Comedians of any race can say all they want about white people. But if you're white, you can't insult/make fun of black people without becoming the scum of the earth. It's perfectly okay for a black guy to fake a French or a Scottish accent, but it's not okay for a white guy to pretend he has a Jamaican accent? We live in a country where the making of the movie White Chicks is perfectly acceptable, but I bet you'll never see a movie called Black Chicks. 

One of my favorite British comedies, Fawlty Towers, a program that aired in the 70s, recently sparked a bit of controversy in England. You can read the article about it here. The particular episode they censored is actually my favorite. When I first saw it, I believe I had tears streaming down my face I was laughing so hard. What they censored wasn't intended by the makers to be offensive. It was a joke, but it was cut because the episode was being aired during family time. Also, they only cut the part that could have been offensive to non-white people, but they left the part that could offend white Germans. Seems a bit one-sided to me. 

Maybe I'm just a racist. I don't know. From time to time, I make racist jokes (which are usually about Asians since my boyfriend is Asian) when I'm around my friends and family. I don't do it to be offensive, only to get a reaction out of people. I like making people laugh. Especially at the expense of others. I don't discriminate, and I treat people with the amount of respect they in turn give me. Very simple. 

In my writing, I say what I want, and I don't generally think about how its going to offend people. Someone is always going to take it the wrong way. Why worry about it? (Unless of course, you're criticizing someone's religion. Then don't do it! The crazies will keeeel ya.)

What do you think? Is the commercial racist? Should we censor media like that? When does censoring go too far? Should we strive to be politically correct? Has PC affected your writing? 

13 comments:

  1. THANK YOU for posting this, I strongly agree. It's really ridiculous how some people can nitpick at the littlest things. The Super Bowl is a fun event, and the commercials are supposed to be funny. For someone to go in and start complaining about one is a stupid waste of time. Anyone who can focus on something like that when they are supposed to just enjoying it, seriously needs to find something else to do. Times have sure changed. "Maybe I'm a racist," LOL. Nah, we're just people who have actual common sense. It has affected my writing, definitely. Oh, can't have my Asian character too smart because God forbid someone will think I have it out for Asians. Sigh. I write book reviews too and you have to be careful as not to "offend" authors by telling them the TRUTH. What happened to freedom of speech? Like actually being able to say "black" louder than a whisper. Nice topic, I like posts with honesty. It's refreshing.

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  2. So I wrote a really long response to this but it was in the blogger comments. I was on a mobile device so it didn't show Disqus. Does it show up somewhere? I commented through Blogger's system, not Disqus, if that makes sense.

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  3. ~OMG same thing happened to this show I love!! It`s called Outsourced, here`s the link : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outsourced_%28TV_series%29

    ~It`s super hilarious and all, but I think it got cancelled for being "Racist." I mean, come on! I`m an Indian and I ddn`t find it that insulting! (Or not where are the jokes gonna come from, right??) *Sigh* People take things too seriously....

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  4. Ohhh, Joey, you opened a can of worms with me. I could go on a five page rant about PC (relax, Cesar, Breathe in, breathe out*)


    Instead of a rant I'll try to get to just get to the point. PC sucks!!!!!
    I'm tired, tired, tired, of the stupid double standard where whites can't do almost nothing because they'll be labeled a (gap) racist. Yet, blacks/Hispanics are given much more freedom without running much risk (p.s I'm Hispanic).


    I don't know if anyone here remembers the Taco Bell commercial where a chihuaha would say "yo quiero Taco Bell." Well,some Hispanics actually took offense to that. They came up with some bull argument that it was demeaning to Mexicans. REALLY!!!! HOW???? Its a freaking chihuaha that wants a taco!!!!


    Racism is a horrible thing, but some people need to relax a little and develop a sense of humor. They see any little thing as racism, even when it's not. The Wolkswagen commercial was hilarious. I loved it. Second best commercial of the SB (The Doritos goat commercial was #1 IMO). If only these kind of people used their resources and time to raise money for a charity, donate time to a charity, donate time at a retirement home, spend time with their kids and teach them some values (Aaarghh.... Parenting failure in America. There's another can of worms for me.) instead of whining about mundane things, who knows? We might actually take care of some REAL problems. Like parenting failure, America's debt, America's failing education system, bullying (which boils back down to parents), etc...


    So much for getting to the point. LOl, sorry

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  5. “The two pillars of 'political correctness' are:

    a) willful ignorance

    b) a steadfast refusal to face the truth
    George MacDonald

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  6. It didn't show up on the blog, but I got an email with it. Sorry it didn't work! Here's what you said:

    "THANK YOU for posting this, I strongly agree. It's really ridiculous how some people can nitpick at the littlest things. The Super Bowl is a fun event, and the commercials are supposed to be funny. For someone to go in and start complaining about one is a stupid waste of time. Anyone who can focus on something like that when they are supposed to just enjoying it, seriously needs to find something else to do. Times have sure changed. "Maybe I'm a racist," LOL. Nah, we're just people who have actual common sense. It has affected my writing, definitely. Oh, can't have my Asian character too smart because God forbid someone will think I have it out for Asians. Sigh. I write book reviews too and you have to be careful as not to "offend" authors by telling them the TRUTH. What happened to freedom of speech? Like actually being able to say "black" louder than a whisper. Nice topic, I like posts with honesty. It's refreshing."



    Thank you! I try to be as honest as I can. I don't go out of my way to offend people or hurt their feelings, but I'm known to be blunt. I write reviews for fun, but not ones that the author will probably ever read, so I don't usually hold back. But that sucks that you can't tell them what you truly think. If the author can't handle it, then maybe they shouldn't be writing in the first place. Criticism makes writing stronger, I think.


    I never understood why Asians being super smart is a bad stereotype. There could be a lot worse. And most every Asian I've met is really smart. I just ended up getting stuck with an Asian boyfriend who is just as bad at math as me . . .



    Anyway, thanks for commenting!

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  7. Hi River! I didn't recognize you at first. Sorry you're having trouble with Disqus. Another commenter had an issue with it too. I'm not sure how you would comment without having an account. If you want, you can always sign up. It's free and easy, and then you'll get notified when someone comments on your comment. That's why I use it, since it makes things simpler. At least, it's supposed to. :S

    I've never heard of that show. Not surprising since it was only on for a season and I don't watch much TV. That sucks that they cancelled it though. I think a lot of the time the people who are worrying if it's racist are white people (like with the commercial I was talking about). They think Indians will find it offensive even though in reality Indians, like you, think its funny. It's all so stupid. And you're right. People take things too seriously. It's a comedy. Lighten up.


    Thanks for commenting!

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  8. lol, I don't think I've ever seen you so worked up. White people don't have a lot of freedom when it comes to that stuff because I still feel like we're apologizing for slavery, even though it ended friggin' forever ago. Also, I get the impression that there are a few black people out there who feel like we owe something to them just because slavery and segregation existed. What happened years ago wasn't a good thing, but it wasn't my fault. My ancestors never owned slaves. They were still in Sweden, Ireland, and Germany at the time. And even if they were here, they'd have been too poor to own anybody anyway.



    I loved the Taco Bell commercials. I thought the little Chihuahua was adorable! I never understood why people got so upset about it. And I agree. I definitely think it's a waste of time. There are so many more important issues that should be addressed.


    Thanks for commenting! I enjoyed reading this.

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  9. This post is really great. I admire you for putting this out there. Respect for people's backgrounds and sensitivity to possible sources of offense is important, but I totally agree - we've taken political correctness way to far as a society. The other weird thing about this is its often not the people being "made fun of" who complain.

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  10. Thank you! That's true, it's usually the people who aren't being made fun of who complain, which is completely silly. Thanks for commenting. It's nice to meet you!

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  11. "There's been a bit of controversy over Volkswagen's Super Bowl ad"

    I KNEW I was forgetting to watch something this past Sunday. Or was it last Sunday? Come to think of it, who was in it? Wait...what's a Super Bowl?

    In all seriousness, though, I just saw the ad on YouTube, and...uh, honestly, I don't see what the big deal is. That's not to (entirely) discount the opinions of those that ARE offended, but really, this does not seem like the kind of thing worth getting angry about. I mean, come on -- is it racist or incorrect because of the voices? Why would that be a bad thing? I guess the key difference between an impression done in an ad and an impression done by, say, a close friend after a round of video games is a matter of audience. Three guys in a single room for one; untold millions of viewers for the other. Words must be chosen wisely...but even then, it's not a deal-breaker.

    As for PC in general, well, that's a lot tougher to nail down.

    "We live in a country where the making of the movie White Chicks is perfectly acceptable, but I bet you'll never see a movie called Black Chicks."

    That's probably because my mother would probably wage war on the entire population if that were to happen. Joking, of course, but I think the issue is that we have to be mindful of different generations. I know my parents have different views on other races (and I'd prefer not to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes), so in a sense I'd say that PC is a matter of appeasing those of the old guard and the new generation. It's not exactly fair, and silly at times, but until we can reach a point where the nastiness in the past is behind us -- at least as well as it can be -- we'll all have to watch ourselves, our mouths, and especially our audiences.

    That's probably why I'd sooner make fun of my own race than others; there are just certain truths that I can't ignore. I'm reminded of them every time I look in the mirror...on account of my afro. It keeps me warm in the winter months, you see, and I'm almost certain it improves the reception on nearby TVs.

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  12. Sorry for the delayed response. Been pretty busy with school lately. :S

    "That's not to (entirely) discount the opinions of those that ARE offended" The funny thing is, the person who was offended and shocked by it was a white woman.


    There's definitely a difference between being humorous and being deliberately hurtful. Most of the time, I find things funny--including jokes about my own race--but when you go too far, it can be hurtful, and I definitely understand why people would be offended by it. But I really think there are a lot of people who need to lighten up and get a sense of humor. Once the old people die off, maybe things will get better. :D


    Yay afros!

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  13. I'm Jewish and I ALWAYS make jokes about that. It's funny, because the only people who ever get offended are white protestant American. My favorite comedian is Jeff Dunham, and he is DEFINITELY not politically correct. I once opened a door for a lady, and she got in my face and called me a "misogynistic chauvenistic pig." She was so sweet. I've had to deal with real racism, as our family is the only Jewish family in my town, so I know what real racism is. And doing racist jokes is not racist.

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